By Bayan Nalubwama
Employers in Uganda have been challenged to include at least 12.4% people with disabilities at their work places.
During the Second Career Fair by Light for the World Uganda, a global disability and development Non-Governmental Organization in partnership with the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) under the Uganda Business Development Network, Mr Silvester Kasozi, Light for the World Uganda’s Country Director revealed that there has been a successful implementation of PWDs since the first career fair that happened in December 2021 but still, a lot needs to be done.
“We are glad that more organizations are coming on board to create inclusive spaces for persons with disabilities. However, we still have a long way to go. For example, Out of the six hundred eighty-nine registered members Federation of Uganda Employers, less than 23% have begun their journey on creating disability inclusive workspaces. This goes to show how long our journey is as employers, to ensure that we leave no one behind.” He said
Ambrose Murangira, the Thematic Director of Disability Inclusion at Light for the World said that because people look more at the disabilities than the abilities of these people, Uganda and the world over is still facing a big challenge as people with disabilities miss out on employment just because of their physical appearance.
Ambrose tasked organizations to make adjustments at workplaces and provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities.
“Providing reasonable accommodations are one-way employers can facilitate inclusion of people with disabilities during job interviews. For example, having sign language interpreters present during job interviews for people with hearing impairments, or having ramps and/or lifts in buildings to make them accessible for people with physical impairments.” He said
Brenda Bonabaana, the current board treasurer for Albinism umbrella and a graduate of Business Administration from Makerere University Business School said employers find it expensive and costly to them in their work places.
“For people with Albinism, we have a lot of challenges like we always have low visions. You find that a company has to get a computer that is personalized so this makes it difficult for them to hire us as they fear the cost that comes with it,” she said
Adding, “You can even experience it when you are in the working environment. Someone can give you a task of doing something that involves reading and writing in normal fonts and when you try to ask them to increase the font, they just don’t take you serious thinking that you are reluctant on your job or something like that,”
Douglas Opio the ED of Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) pledged to advocate for the rights of employers, with a special interest in persons with disabilities.
“Being confident and knowing how to present you during a job interview are some of the soft skills that people with disabilities should continue to build up in themselves as these are some of the qualities employers look out for during interviews,” he said
“We have to deliberately look out for them and create opportunities for them as well. There are many qualified persons with disabilities who do not have employment opportunities. There is also a challenge in terms of accessing the right information. Even in some cases, employers are unaware that there are persons with disabilities with the right competences.”
He mentioned that they have created a job portal for persons with disability so that whenever they are, they can register on the platform, and employers can register on and provide employment opportunities that they have.